“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” –Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

There are  thousand of wonderful ways to get your children to Reading. Some ways must be very common and obvious to you, while others may not. Let’s see how we can teach you “A- Z” of reading to your child.

A-   Alphabet and concept books-Literacy starts from the alphabets itself. The best way to put your child into the reading habit is to introduce her to alphabet books at a very early age. There are a variety of alphabet books available these days. You can choose the books depending upon the age group of your child. For example, board books, vinyl books etc. not only alphabet books, but you can choose other concept books such as colours, shapes, numbers, animals, fruits and many more.

B-   Board Books- The best choice for a toddler. These books with rigid and unbend-able pages are available in non toxic and easy to clean options. The child can not tear the book because of its thickness. They are colourful and inviting for the children and also a very good pre-reading tool. You can choose board books for elder children also.

C-    Computer – yes, we encourage avoiding the screen time for your child but at the same time, if used wisely, computer software can be beneficial to young children. A lot of interactive books and literacy games are available online and can be saved on computer for children.

D-   Demonstrating and Directions- We read directions almost everyday. From going to a new place to operating something new. Reading directions and demonstrating it could be very helpful for children in developing their reading habits. Make sure to read aloud every time you see any sign board or any name or direction written somewhere. As a result, The child will be interested to read about the directions to assemble a toy or finding a way to her friend’s place.

E-   Email or electronic text- young children like hearing any email or any electronic text from their loved ones. For example, one of the parents or any other family member is staying away from the house and they use emails to connect. Children can also use email or electronic texts to make plans with their friends or family members nearby. They should know that even children’s book authors have email addresses and they can be contacted online. For example- email Santa (search web).

F-   Flannel Boards- flannel boards are soft and large surface where you can stick and unstuck the desired pictures or stories to read aloud to children. You can also tell the child to enact or retell the story by looking at the board.

G-   Guides- tourism based guides for local and other locations are available readily for children. Young children enjoy making connections between what they saw and read in the guide book and what actually they have seen at that location. Children also like navigating you with their guide. It’s a great habit which leads to a good reading experience.

H-   “How to do” books- these books tell how to do something or make something. These are instruction booklets fro craft or many other activities. Many books require adult guidance and supervision or need adults to read and help the children. But some are designed specially for young children with simple illustrations and pictures so that a child can read or see herself. Child learns to read, listen and follow the instructions which eventually help her in the later learning experiences.

I-     Informational Texts- it could be anything to read about nature or society or how your body works etc. we worry that our children won’t be able to understand this difficult text but research indicates that children grasp the words more easily and quickly. It is their reading readiness stage which prepares them for actual reading. These informational books are available on countless topics specially designed for even very young children.

J-    Junk post or mail- Do these junk bunch of papers in your mail box drive you crazy? Hand them over to your child- she may highly likely love it. Many children are very curious about the posts that come and want to know about who sent it, or from where it came. These are some opportunities that you can grab to do a little selective reading aloud to your child with some explanation too. You can tell your child to involve this whole activity in pretend play. For example- from the sender to the mail office to the post man and then to your home.

K-   Kitchen Magnets- We probably remember the magnetic words to create poetry or sentences on a board. From the literacy point of view that is one thing that should never fade. Children enjoy playing with magnets and create something funny or meaningful out of them. Alphabet magnets can be kept on the kitchen gadgets so that they play and learn. For example, you can stick the magnets of the places visited with your child as souvenirs.

L-    Library Books- The most common asset for reading- library books. They are never out of fashion. Libraries provide access to more reading material for children. Whenever you get a chance, do visit a library. Pick something for yourself and hand over a story book to your child. She will learn to sit quite with a book and enjoy the rich and knowledgeable experience of reading.

M-  Magazines- how many of you remember your childhood magazines? Or we may say the comic books. Magazine reading is popular amongst the adults but children too love to feel the freshness and colourful format of a magazine. Subscribe to a good magazine for your child so that she looks forward to a new content every fortnight or month.

N-   Novelty Books- children get bored with the same old books. They want something new in their reading material. Books come with some pop ups or music or some 3 dimensional pictures. There are some books with some stickers or puzzles or some other enhancements. They can be a valued collection in child’s library where she can read and enjoy as well.

O-   ‘Out and about’ Books- There are many ways to connect your child’s experiences and books. From taking vacations to running errands, whenever possible, try to make connections between these activities and books and read to them.

P-   Poems- if given the opportunity, young children learn to appreciate this subtle art of literature in the form of simple rhymes and poems. You can choose topics which are related to their daily life and events related with them. Poetry is all about making them laugh, think and enjoy and learn. You can also set the goal of completing some number of poetry books by end of the year.

Q-   Quiz cards and Books- offer some brain teasers to your child to solve. Ask silly puzzles through some cards or verbally. You can drop a hint or two in between to keep the interest alive. If you see your child enjoys being quizzed like this, you can add reading material and enjoy the quality time spent with your child.

R-   Recipe Books or cards- children learn a great amount of concepts through cooking. Cooking includes many possibilities for literacy. Your child’s Favourite meals are a wonderful thing to share and read through a recipe card or a book.

S-   Story Books- how can we forget the most important link to literacy? The story books. Some of the story books are so loved by children that they have become a part of our culture. Hearing your favourite story book again and again is one of the most memorable parts of one’s childhood. Make sure that these story books are an integral part of your growing child’s daily routine.

T-    Touch and Feel books- many infants like to read and see “toul and feel” books. They come in different sizes, textures and colours. Children, at a very young age are explorers. They want to touch and feel everything they come across with. So, involve their senses through such good books.

U-   Use- up Books- there are some books where your child can be engaged in some activity like writing, sticking something, completing the story or puzzle etc. allow your child to contribute something to any such book so that she has that sense of achievement. They might be useless books, once they are completed but children love to keep and refer back to them.

V-    Vinyl Books- vinyl books are water proof books with a plastic coating on them. Child can take these books to bath tub or let your drooling darling do anything with these books.

W-  Websites or Web page- Internet has many options for young children.  Since we discourage more screen time to young children, but if used thoughtfully, as mentioned earlier, a child can be exposed to a variety of experiences that includes reading, activities, music or even drawing. It also provides a great deal of information or knowledge if a child wants to explore something or some place. You can discuss about people, places and culture through internet by showing these things live to your child.

X-   Maps or any other reference resources- X, here, mark the spot. Children love to browse maps and spot the location. Encourage them to find the route to a particular place if you are travelling and highlighting the area. Reference books are also a great source. Along with showing how to locate a spot, you can also provide the text to your child to understand the same concept.

Y-   You-make-it-yourself books- these include scrap books, albums, diaries and small notepads that you and your child have created together. You can have them laminated to keep them from wearing and tearing so that you and your child can look back at them over and over again.

Z-   Zany Books-  many children like to see or read some crazy stuff in their books- where the noodles end up on head or the chairs walk, where things go upside down or other things are mixed up. Children imagine weird things in their minds and that’s what they like to see on books also. We want children to be exposed to some serious literature but some silly, not-so-serious and whacky books should also be a part of your child’s life.

So, go have  reading fun with your child in a  number of ways…